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Massive DDoS attack on U.S. financial company thwarted by cyber firm

A cybersecurity company claims it identified and thwarted a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack targeting a prominent American financial institution.

The researchers at Akamai Technologies did not reveal the company’s name but said it is among their "largest and most influential" customers in the financial sector.

DDoS attacks overwhelm websites with a flood of traffic, making them temporarily unavailable to users.

The attack against the company, detected on Tuesday, peaked at 633.7 gigabits of traffic per second. According to the cloud computing company Gcore, as of this year DDoS attacks can reach as high as 800 gbps.

“The attack was sharp but lasted for less than 2 minutes,” Akamai said. The incident didn't harm or disrupt the victim's services.

Under normal circumstances, almost all the legitimate traffic to the company’s site comes from the U.S. During the attack, however, the malicious traffic came from all over the world, including Bulgaria, Brazil, China, India, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Japan.

The volume of U.S. traffic during the attack was also more than double its average.

Given the magnitude of the attack, the financial company would have faced severe disruptions to its vital web systems had it not been mitigated, Akamai senior product manager Craig Sparling told Recorded Future News.

According to Sparling, the company does not attribute attacks to specific cybercriminal groups “to prevent undue publicity to the attackers.” No hacker group has claimed responsibility for this attack since it wasn’t successful, he added.

Since 2021, there has been a noticeable surge in the number of DDoS attacks against financial services, according to Akamai. Over the past year, more than 30% of the DDoS attacks detected by the company have been aimed at financial services.

The latest DDoS attack not only targeted a major US-based financial institution, but also went directly after their primary web landing page with an intent to disrupt online banking, according to Akamai.

“Financial institutions are a key pillar of an economy, and targeting such businesses often has a larger impact on the overall economy,” researchers said.

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Daryna Antoniuk

Daryna Antoniuk

is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.